The Stone Corridors

I’d rather write about the war on women’s health going on in many parts of the country, but I want to focus on a slightly different theme.

It’s obvious that Texas’ legislators don’t care about getting proper care for the women of their state… STD & HIV testing, cancer screenings, pregnancy services, birth control support, and health problems that need a gynecologist are irrelevant to them, perhaps even a waste of money. They’re more interested in killing Planned Parenthood than they care about the needs of the young women in their state.

Indiana’s governor decided to support a Pennsylvania-based anti-abortion group Real Alternatives. He claims they’ve been successful in a pilot program because they’re anti-abortion and opposed to birth control.

There’s lots more to say than fits about the war on women, the war on the poor and the war on poor women–wars that many legislators are happy to pursue at all costs.

People like to talk about academic ivory towers where intellectuals pursue their own agendas and have lost touch with real issues.

A view down a long white corridorOur legislators have set up their own stone corridors instead. They have idealized views of how things should be. The issues that are important to them have let them lose track of what’s practical. What they think needs to be done has let them ignore what’s prudent.

In a stone corridor, the leaders can hear their own voices echoing and think they’re getting confirmation. The walls and floors are kept clean so that messy, real-world problems don’t interfere with their abstract principles. They make decisions without wisdom and compassion. They don’t care about the real world experiences of the people in their communities.

I had an experience a few months ago that shocked me about the place people have been shoved into.

I came to a gas station’s convenience store to get some snacks. While I was there, I met couple who’d had been cheated out of some gas they’d paid for. What struck me most was how desperate they were about $10 of gas. That such a small amount of money could be so important was really eye opening. After begging for some help from the gas station attendant, someone listening came and gave them the money they had lost.

I was totally shocked at the graphic example of how difficult life is for so many people. People in the stone corridors don’t go to a local factory to find out how the workers are coping. They’re more interested in bragging about how their policies are helping the business grow.

Now that both major parties’ candidates are funded by the wealthy and powerful, they don’t have any incentive to leave the stone corridors and walk through the neighborhoods. A bank executive has a lot more to say about what’s going to happen this year than the hundreds of people in my neighborhood that are suffering every day. The people who are desperately struggling with paying their bills, staying fed, keeping healthy, and not having their car break down don’t matter.

I abhore the abuse that women are suffering. Many can’t afford basic health care needs yet they are unimportant in the stone corridors. A couple with two children that doesn’t want more doesn’t need Pence’s “Real Alternatives” organization to say, no, you don’t need any birth control. All you need to do is be abstinent and it will all be good.

Follow your dreams (Cancelled)The stone corridors are not a good place to raise a family. Those who walk there don’t worry about how to pay their rent and the electric bill each month. They see the pure marble of the corridor walls and revel in the pure society that they think they’ll create. If the women and their partners would follow their demands, a perfect society is going to come all the sooner.

Original image: Corridor. By OiMax [Image license]
Original image: Banksy in Boston. By Chris Devers [Image license]

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